What it’s about: Sensha-do. Tankery. The Way of the Tank. As explained in the show itself, it’s “A strong, but delicate art that aims to make women more polite, graceful, modest, and gallant, both on and off the battlefield. To learn tankery is to armor the heart of a maiden, the soul that embraces and burns with femininity.”
But despite such self-evident virtues and the generous package of benefits and perks that come with signing up to the school club, Miho Nishizumi is hesitant about getting involved in the sport again. With the international Sensha-do tournament coming up shortly, there isn’t much time to get Oarai’s first team assembled and ready, and Miho’s flair for tactics and strategy may well prove the decisive factor in reaching the finals.
Why you should watch it: It’s an utterly ridiculous premise, and a blatant excuse to combine cute girls and military hardware, but somehow it works. The show is charming, the girls are endearing, and the battles themselves are a heck of a lot of fun to watch. It’s not all “boom-boom”, there’s a lot time spent going over the tactics and plans the girls put together, too. For fans of military history, there are a host of nods and references to actual hardware and personalities, and for the rest of us there’s a sizeable cast of quirky competitors and an interesting military march-inspired soundtrack. Somehow, the show manages to blend the slice-of-life school antics with its bizarre military tournament almost seamlessly. It’s an easy series to binge through, and one that I’m glad I did!
Caveats: I said that the cast is huge for a twelve-episode show, and it is. What that means, though, is that the creators take some shortcuts and rely a lot on stereotypes and tropes to get us to fill in the blanks for everyone outside of Miho and her immediate friends. They’re no less fun to watch because of that, but don’t expect any of the competitors to get much development past being representatives of their particular nation or club.